Vroum Vroum Mag and Ruby Walsh race to victory as Shaneshill and Patrick Mullins crash out (both thankfully okay)
©Healy Racing Photos
Vroum Vroum Mag followed her stable companions, Coquin Mans, Montalbano and Bleu Et Rouge as day three Christmas festival victors when getting back to winning ways in the Grade 1 Squared Financial Christmas Hurdle at Leopardstown.
Susannah and Rich Ricci own Vroum Vroum Mag, and along with Ruby Walsh they were doubling their score on the day following on from the success of Montalbano.
The well-backed 8/15 scorerVroum Vroum Mag had just taken it off her front-running stable companion, Shaneshill, when that one gave Patrick Mullins a horrible fall at the last.
In the words of Ruby WalshVroum Vroum Mag "pulled up when Patrick fell," but she kept going well enough to defeat Clondaw Warrior by a length and a quarter.
< Clondaw Warrior is of course also trained by Mullins. He was ridden by Walsh's sister Katie, and is owned by the Act D Wagg Syndicate which includes Gillian Walsh.
"She was very keen today. Maybe at Cheltenham there would be more pace and she would settle better. At the moment every option is open for her," said Willie Mullins.
"She works with our Champion Hurdle horses, we know she stays three miles now, and she can go over hurdles and jump fences. She's the super sub in the Ricci team, and that's where she fits in. She's an extraordinary mare.
"Shaneshill was running a fantastic race. Patrick was keen to make it and maybe that suits him better as it's the first good race he's run this year.
"Clondaw Warrior also ran fantastic and gets three miles. Katie had him very settled, and both of them are Stayers Hurdle contenders.
"We have a great team of horses and people in the yard. Things were slow to get going due to the dry autumn, and it just happens to be Christmas time when they are all coming right."
Paddy Power go 5/1 unchanged aboutVroum Vroum Mag for the Stayers Hurdle. That's the same as with Betfair, whilst she's 6/1 from 7/1 with Boylesports.
For the Mares Hurdle meanwhileVroum Vroum Mag is 2/1 (unchanged) with Ladbrokes and 2/1 (from 5/2) with Boylesports.
< Clondaw Warrior meanwhile has shortened up to 12/1 (from 16/1) for the Stayers Hurdle.
(AM & EM)